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Plant Profile: California Interior Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium)

Also known as eastern mojave buckwheat, this rounded evergreen shrub or subshrub is a member of the knotweed family, Polygonaceae, that also includes  rhubarb, dock and sea grape.  It is native to western US from Utah to California, south to Arizona and Mexico where it grows on dry slopes and washes, and in canyons of deserts areas and coastal foothills.  Plants grow 2-3′ tall and have gray hairy leaves up to .25″ long  that may drop in the summer. From spring to summer dense flowerheads  of creamy white flowers appear on long stems and turn deep brown in the fall.  Each 6 petaled  flower has protruding rose tipped stamens that give the appearance of whiskers. Flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies.  The genus name, Eriogonum, comes from the Greek words, erion meaning wool, and gony meaning knee and refers to the downy hairs on the nodes of the stems.  The specific epithet, fasciculatum, comes from the Latin word fasculus meaning a little bundle.  the varietial name, polifolium, may come from the Latin words polio meaning to whiten and folium, meaning leaf, and refers to the color of the leaves.

Type: Evergreen shrub or subshrub

Outstanding Feature: Flowerheads

Form: Rounded

Growth Rate: Slow to moderate

Bloom: Flowerheads of 6 petaled creamy white flowers with long rose tipped stamens from spring to summer

Size: 2-3′ H x 3-4′ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Average, dry, well-drained

Hardiness: USDA Hardiness Zones 7-10

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: Root root in overly moist soil

Propagation:Seed

Photo Credit:  Wikipedia